Diversity of business, do you have side gigs?
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  1. #1
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    Default Diversity of business, do you have side gigs?

    With rising costs of materials, and inability to source parts quickly, do any of you have a side business that is floating your shop?

    Myself, I have a passion for the wood industry. I supply several local mills with parts and service. Last summer I completed the build of my sawmill. With lumber at astronomical prices and local lumber yards canceling sales, I see a huge potential here.

    I was talking with my steel supplier last week and was in sticker shock. Told him I might have to close the machine shop. At what point will customers stop ordering? It's a scary idea, so I'm thinking the sawmill is the way to stay afloat if things get worse.

    Sent from my rotary dial flip fone

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    Quote Originally Posted by wgnrr1 View Post
    With rising costs of materials, and inability to source parts quickly, do any of you have a side business that is floating your shop?

    Myself, I have a passion for the wood industry. I supply several local mills with parts and service. Last summer I completed the build of my sawmill. With lumber at astronomical prices and local lumber yards canceling sales, I see a huge potential here.

    I was talking with my steel supplier last week and was in sticker shock. Told him I might have to close the machine shop. At what point will customers stop ordering? It's a scary idea, so I'm thinking the sawmill is the way to stay afloat if things get worse.

    Sent from my rotary dial flip fone
    Are not your existing mill customers upset with you entering their business ?

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    I have a full time day job, I have my own small shop at night, and when the need arises, I do applications training in the metro area. Whatever it takes to bring the dollars. No complaints.

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    I would say that with your fab/machining background and your interest and knowledge of sawmill operations process streamlining help for mills could be a great market. Even the Amish mills here in central Wisconsin struggle with labor. The progressive ones are doing lots mechanical based automation. I don't see the labor problem going away. With mills as busy as they are if they can see an efficiency improvement to reduce a bottleneck they won't be too hung up on the price of steel to make that happen. Sawmill equipment is currently in short supply, mothballed equipment being retrofitted for current needs. As far as side gigs... lots of them here ... One happens to be sawmilling too. Time and help is what I struggle with.

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    I'm hearing loggers are in short supply as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    I'm hearing loggers are in short supply as well.
    Could be a result of Covid restrictions. With all the bars closed where will the lumberjacks dressed up in women's clothing hang out?

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    I met a guy who complained that he didn't make enough so that was why he would hang out at the flea market on weekends, open his van doors and sell
    whatever he could like stuff he stole from his employer, grass, and porn movies. All his bases covered.

    The guy was over 50 and still living with his mother...

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAMasochism View Post
    Could be a result of Covid restrictions. With all the bars closed where will the lumberjacks dressed up in women's clothing hang out?
    "Loggers" not "LumberJacks".....

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    I’ve done some very small time saw milling. Seems like the hardest way of all to make a living to me. Mostly cabinet wood in my case. Every time I’ve done it I’d think sawn lumber at any price seemed cheap.

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    I seem to recall hearing a story about a guy who called into work to tell his boss that he was going to stay home and think about how he was going to come up with the money to pay his bills.

    There's always work to do. You just have to be dynamic enough to change with the times and be the first in line to catch it. The work only dries up when you decide you're only going to do 'A' jobs, 'B' jobs are beneath you, and 'C' jobs are out of your skill set. There's nothing wrong with picking and choosing jobs when you have that luxury, but you have to be careful that in doing so you don't cut yourself off from the market. There are days that I want to turn down every cheapskate that calls me on the phone, but then there's other days I think I need to be a better salesman and teacher.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rons View Post
    I met a guy who complained that he didn't make enough so that was why he would hang out at the flea market on weekends, open his van doors and sell
    whatever he could like stuff he stole from his employer, grass, and porn movies. All his bases covered.

    The guy was over 50 and still living with his mother...
    Sounds like a real loser.

    Living home with mom strike 1
    Stealing from your employer strike 2

    Being 50 and doing those things... strike 3... and ejected from the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wgnrr1 View Post
    With rising costs of materials, and inability to source parts quickly, do any of you have a side business that is floating your shop?

    Myself, I have a passion for the wood industry. I supply several local mills with parts and service. Last summer I completed the build of my sawmill. With lumber at astronomical prices and local lumber yards canceling sales, I see a huge potential here.

    I was talking with my steel supplier last week and was in sticker shock. Told him I might have to close the machine shop. At what point will customers stop ordering? It's a scary idea, so I'm thinking the sawmill is the way to stay afloat if things get worse.

    Sent from my rotary dial flip fone
    It does seem like production on the wood side will ultimately catch up with demand, so the only question is how long will the boom last? Although prices may remain high in some markets at a retail level as sellers have gotten a glimpse of what consumers are willing to absorb.

    Do your customers have the option to just not order parts? I guess it all depends on their industry.

    I run a side gig doing engineering consulting and some equipment sales. For a side gig, time is really limited, so it makes sense to focus on high margin, but consequently not very steady work. I take work when it comes, but otherwise keep costs very low. I also think it makes sense of a side gig to complement your day job. The work at with my side gig is in the same industry, but tackles several different applications that I couldn't justify investing time in at my day job. Over time, several of these side gig applications have become solutions we utilize at my day job though. We couldn't do some of the work we are currently doing if I hadn't spent my nights and weekends implementing similar things for others. At least at this time, the combination of a steady paycheck and the ability to take on selective profitable work has been very good.

    A side gig can also present opportunities in the form of tax benefits. With the correct solo 401K setup, you can place $58K of profits into a tax sheltered Roth account. This is in addition to 401k deferrals you make at your day job. Mega Backdoor Roth In Solo 401k: Control Your Own Destiny

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    I survived the73/ 74 and 83/84 recessions by being diversified.......never tried sawmilling though,cause I knew a few who did sawmilling and they never had more than 3 fingers on one hand.......Thats the ones had two hands.

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    Side gig, absolutely.
    The business helps with the tax side of things.

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    Supervisor at a shop. Have a shop on the side. Family farm. Mini excavator side gig.

    The proverbial "3 pecker Billy goat"

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    I just have a diverse enough shop that there is always something that someone needs.

    Turning Swiss to 40" rounds.

    Milling up to 48 x 48.


    Much of that is not in my preferred window, but I can doo it in a pinch.


    --------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    I thought you did snowplowing in the winter time.....

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    Not for hire


    ----------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    Not for hire


    ----------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

    That's right officer, the magnet on the side says "Not for hire".

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAMasochism View Post
    Could be a result of Covid restrictions. With all the bars closed where will the lumberjacks dressed up in women's clothing hang out?
    Easy one. The White House.

  28. Likes digger doug, wgnrr1, atex57 liked this post

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